Nation in brief: Governor proposes selling lottery
Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday proposed selling the state lottery for at least $14 billion to create an endowment for Texans without health insurance and a trust fund for cancer research.
That money could be used to form a $2.7 billion endowment for the uninsured and to create a $3 billion fund for the fight against cancer, Perry said.
No state has sold or leased its lottery, although several are considering it. Last month, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels proposed leasing the state lottery for 30 years to pay for scholarships.
House fire kills 10, including six kids
A fast-moving blaze killed 10 people early Tuesday – six of them children – in Kentucky’s deadliest house fire in at least 30 years.
One person was injured. Neighbors said the survivor and another relative had to be prevented from running back into the flames in an attempt to rescue the screaming children. Investigators had not determined the cause of the blaze.
Romney to make ‘08 bid official
Republican Mitt Romney will formally announce his candidacy for president next week in Michigan, his native state and an important early test for the GOP nomination, campaign aides said Tuesday.
The former one-term Massachusetts governor will make his announcement Feb. 13, and then will visit Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina – the first states to hold 2008 contests.
He will return to Boston two days later, where he will hold what his campaign is calling “a unity event” with supporters, aides said.
The announcement had been expected.
Man in ad scare filmed bomb squad
One of the men criminally charged after placing blinking cartoon advertisements around the city videotaped a police bomb squad removing one of the electronic devices, but did not tell the officers the object was harmless.
Surveillance cameras caught 27-year-old Peter Berdovsky videotaping officers removing what they thought was a possible bomb. His lawyer, Walter Prince, said Tuesday: “Mr. Berdovsky didn’t do anything inappropriate.”
Prince said Berdovsky had received a call that morning from a friend who told him there was a bomb threat at the Sullivan Square transit station in Boston. He said Berdovsky grabbed his camera and headed out to the scene, unaware it involved one of the electronic devices that he and Sean Stevens, 28, had hung as part of a guerrilla advertising campaign for Turner Broadcasting.
“That’s what he does. He videotapes things. He’s a videotape freelance artist. He got a call that there was a bomb threat near his house and he went to tape it,” Prince said. “When he got there, he realized what was going on, and he went back to his apartment and called his employer, and they told him they would take care of it. That’s not an inappropriate response.”